Track lighting is a versatile and stylish lighting option for many homes. It consists of a long metal track that attaches to the ceiling, with adjustable spotlights that you can slide along the track and aim in any direction.
The Benefits of Track Lighting
Track lighting has a lot going for it. For one, it’s highly flexible. The individual spotlights can be moved and redirected whenever you want to highlight different areas or objects in a room. It’s also energy efficient, since you only have the lights on that you need.
Track lighting is also ideal for displaying art or accentuating architectural details in your home. The focused beams of light can be aimed at paintings, sculptures or other focal points in a stylish, gallery-like fashion. For kitchens, track lighting is perfect for illuminating work stations and task areas.
How to Hide Track Lighting
The following are ways on how to hide track lighting:
1. Paint It to Match Your Ceiling or Wall Color
- Painting your track lighting the same color as your ceiling or walls is one of the easiest ways to make it blend in. All you need is a can of paint and a few supplies.
- First, determine if you want to paint the track lighting fixtures the ceiling color or wall color. If your ceiling is white, going with the wall color often looks more natural. For open concept rooms, the ceiling color is probably your best bet.
- Once you decide on a color, pick up a sample of that paint from your local hardware store to color match. Get a quart of ceiling paint or interior wall paint in a satin or eggshell sheen—something with a slight sheen will help reflect a bit of light. An angled brush, small roller, and painter’s tape are also helpful to have on hand.
- When you’re ready to paint, thoroughly clean your track lighting fixtures to remove any dirt or grease. Apply two coats of paint, waiting 2-4 hours between coats. For the best results:
- Use painter’s tape to cover any adjacent surfaces you don’t want to paint.
- Lightly sand glossy surfaces before painting for better adhesion.
- Apply a primer for plastics or metals if needed.
- Pay extra attention to edges and seams.
- Consider removing bulbs and other detachable parts to paint separately.
2. Use Decorative Covers or Cages
One of the easiest ways to disguise your track lighting is by using decorative covers or cages. These accessories slip right over the track and fixtures to conceal them from view while still allowing the light to filter through.
a. Decorative Covers
- Decorative covers, like track lighting sleeves or cages, are opaque or translucent shades that surround the entire fixture and track. They come in a variety of styles like drum shades, conical shades, square shades, and more. You can find covers in materials such as fabric, metal, wood, and rattan to match your home’s decor. The covers diffuse and soften the light while hiding the utilitarian look of the track and spotlights.
- Wire cages, also known as track lighting cages or enclosures, are another simple solution for concealing track lighting. The wire cages surround the track and fixtures but have an open design that allows more light to pass through, compared to opaque covers. The wire cages come in a variety of metal types like steel, iron, copper, and brass. You can find cages in both simple and ornate designs to complement your room’s style. The openness of the cages also allows for better ventilation and heat dispersion from the fixtures.
- Either of these options provides an easy, DIY-friendly way to make track lighting blend seamlessly into your space. You can find a wide selection of covers and cages online or at your local home improvement stores.
For the best results:
- a) Choose a size that properly fits your specific track lighting system. Measure your track length and fixture diameters to ensure full coverage.
- b) Consider the amount of light diffusion you want. Opaque shades will block more light while open cages allow most light through.
- c) Select a material and style that matches your home’s decor. A cage or cover that clashes with your space will only draw more attention to the track lighting.
- d) Install the covers or cages by simply sliding them over the track and securing in place with screws, clips or adhesive pads. No wiring is required.
- e) Group multiple fixtures together under one large cover for a dramatic look, or use individual covers over each fixture for more flexibility.
- With the right decorative cover or cage, you can keep your track lighting undercover and looking stylish. Your space will be brightened by the light, not the fixtures.
2. Incorporate Track Lighting Into Built-Ins
Track lighting provides much-needed illumination in many homes, but the tracks and spotlights themselves aren’t always the most attractive fixtures. If you want the functionality of track lighting without the utilitarian look, incorporating the tracks into built-ins is a clever disguise.
- Installing track lighting inside cabinetry, like kitchen or bathroom cabinets, helps spotlight counterspace while hiding the tracks. Cut channels for the tracks in the top interior edge of the cabinets. The tracks will be concealed when the cabinet doors are closed but provide focused beams of light when opened. For an even stealthier look, mount the tracks on a removable board that can be taken out when more ambient light is needed.
- Tracks installed under the top edge of shelving, like in a home office or living room, shine light down without being obvious. The shelving obscures the tracks from view but allows the light to filter down, illuminating the space below. This works well for both wall-mounted shelving and free-standing units. For easier installation and removal, mount the tracks on a board that can be secured to the underside of the top shelf.
- Crown molding, baseboards, and trim provide another opportunity to disguise track lighting. Mount the tracks on the backside of the molding before securing the molding to the wall or ceiling. The molding hides the tracks while allowing the light to wash over walls and illuminate the room. This also allows you to continue the molding around the entire room for a cohesive, streamlined look that completely conceals the tracks.
Incorporating track lighting into built-ins and architectural details in your home helps provide necessary task lighting while hiding the utilitarian elements. Your space will be illuminated and stylish, with no visible tracks or spotlights in sight. By strategically mounting tracks behind cabinetry, shelving, trim or molding, you can achieve discreet yet effective lighting.